Jackson, Tennessee, Personal Injury & Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Don't let a dooring accident hurt you while riding a bike

One of the most horrible things that can happen to a bicyclist is to get "doored." Dooring accidents happen when a motorist or vehicle passenger opens a car door into the path of a bicyclist. The bicyclist could strike the edge of the door and suffer catastrophic and deadly injuries.

Dooring events usually happen when cars are stopped on the side of a road while a cyclist passes them. Bicyclists ride along the edge of the roadway in most cases, and this puts them in the zone where -- if a car door opens -- they could slam directly into it.

Car accidents involving school buses worry Tennessee officials

In spite of the myriad of public service campaigns warning motorists about the dangers of bypassing school buses with their lights and traffic arms activated, there have been numerous accounts of children suffering serious injuries. Tennessee officials are concerned about the rising number of motorists who are driving while distracted and causing serious car accidents. The question of how to increase the safety of students is one that both state and federal officials are trying to resolve.

Drivers are repeatedly reminded that they are required to stop for any school bus that has its lights activated, even those on a highway with separate lanes for opposing directions -- unless there is a grass or concrete divider. Unfortunately, school bus drivers report that motorists routinely ignore these laws, which places the safety of children and fellow drivers in jeopardy. Along with the disregard of the school bus laws, distracted drivers pose another serious risk to the safety of children being transported to and from schools.

Education can reduce need for some workers' compensation claims

Teenagers who are looking to enter the job market often lack knowledge concerning workplace safety. It is important that employers provide proper training and safety information that can help prevent workplace injuries. Tennessee employers are encouraged to ensure that their workforces are educated on ways to perform their duties in a manner that may reduce the likelihood of teens needing to file workers' compensation claims.

According to information garnered from a report that investigated the injury rate for teen workers in one state, nearly 50 percent claimed that they had not been instructed in safety and health standards. In addition, half of those workers stated that their injuries may have been prevented if they had received essential training. Researchers reviewed interviews with teens to prepare their report.

Distracted truck drivers could put you at risk on the road

Drivers of passenger vehicles have to share the road with smaller and larger vehicles. They need to be aware of pedestrians, motorcyclists and people on bicycles, while also watching out for themselves when driving close to large commercial vehicles. If you're like most people, you likely take steps to keep yourself, and your passengers, safe on the road.

Unfortunately, the people in the other vehicles may not be as attentive or cautious as you are. Even the people in the larger commercial trucks on the road with you could choose to engage in dangerous behaviors that increase your risk of a crash with them.

Tennessee families may file wrongful death suit for tragic losses

Life is full of everyday choices that usually do not result in deadly consequences. Unfortunately, one never knows when a simple decision can end in tragedy. One Tennessee family recently lost a loved one due to the apparent negligence of an intoxicated driver. Apart from the criminal proceedings that typically follow these types of fatal accidents, surviving families of deceased victims may be entitled to seek recovery of monetary losses through a wrongful death lawsuit.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a 63-year-old man was riding his bicycle along the south shoulder of Highway 53. He was traveling with his small dog around 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. A motorist was also traveling along the highway in the southbound lanes. For reasons that are unclear, the motorist purportedly crossed two lanes and struck the man on his bicycle.

Tennessee families may have case for wrongful death in crashes

Life is full of daily decisions that usually do not result in life or death consequences. Unfortunately, depending upon the situation and surroundings, even a simple decision to cross an intersection could result in a tragic ending. Recently, the death of one Tennessee woman could have surviving family wondering if there is a basis for pursuing a wrongful death.

Tennessee police filed charges against a driver believed to be responsible for causing the death of a 30-year-old woman who was attempting to cross an intersection during the overnight hours. According to the report, the victim was crossing at what has been described as a busy intersection when she entered the charged driver's lane. It is unknown whether the 24-year-old driver took any evasive actions to attempt to avoid striking the woman.

These bicycle safety tips will give you peace of mind

It doesn't matter if you're riding your bicycle to and from work or for nothing more than pleasure, your safety is priority number one. If you don't have your safety in mind at all times, there's a greater risk of being part of an accident.

Fortunately, there are several bicycle safety tips you can follow to improve your safety and feel better about tackling the road. Here are five things to keep in mind:

  • Opening doors are dangerous: When a person opens a car door into your path, you only have two options: Attempt to get out of the way or strike it head on. While moving would be in your best interest, it's not always possible to do so. And even if it is, it could result in another accident, such as one with a moving vehicle.
  • Watch for turning vehicles: When a driver turns, they don't always look to see if someone, such as a bicyclist, is in their blind spot. Take special caution as you get closer to intersections.
  • Don't spook pedestrians: Cars aren't the only thing you have to worry about as a bicyclist. Do your best to pass behind pedestrians, as riding in front of them can startle them and force you to make a quick decision.
  • Watch for aggressive drivers: Despite the many laws designed to help drivers and bicyclists share the road, it doesn't always happen. Many drivers don't care to share the road with bicyclists, which increases the chance of an accident.
  • Use the bicycle lane: When available, spend your time driving in a designated bicycle lane. You don't have to worry about cars here. Furthermore, it's designed for your safety.

5 important steps to take after a car accident

Even if you think you're prepared to deal with the aftermath of a car accident, you never know what you'll actually do if you find yourself in this position. By taking the right steps at the right time, you put yourself in position to deal with the many challenges associated with your accident.

Here are five steps you must take:

  • Check yourself and passengers for injuries: This is job number one, as you need to better understand what you're up against. If you or a passenger is seriously injured, administer first-aid until help arrives.
  • Call 911: When you do this, it won't be long before police and an ambulance rush to the scene to provide assistance. Don't hesitate to ask for transportation to a local hospital, even if you don't think you're suffering from a serious injury.
  • Exchange information: This is a basic step to take after any type of car accident, but it's not always possible. For example, if you're dealing with serious injuries, the last thing you're thinking about is exchanging insurance information and contact details with the other driver(s).
  • Contact your insurance company: Don't do this until you have time in your schedule and a clear mind. Stick to the facts when discussing the accident with your agent. Also, if you don't feel comfortable answering a question, let your agent know.
  • Work with your medical team: Regardless of your injuries, work closely with your medical team to ensure that you're doing whatever you can to make a full recovery. Also, keep track of every bit of treatment you receive, along with the bills associated with it. This information can come in handy when filing an insurance claim.

Families may have basis for wrongful death in highway fatalities

The majority of Tennessee commuters are familiar with the most dangerous sections of their routes on their way to and from work, school or errands. Unfortunately, no matter how attentive a driver may be to known hazards, sometimes unforeseen dangers wind up causing fatal accidents. Sadly, surviving families are left to pick up the pieces after a wrongful death robs them of a loved one.

Tennessee officials are currently investigating a fatal incident that occurred along Interstate 24 just outside of downtown Nashville. According to preliminary reports, a 54-year-old man was headed to his job at a local plant shortly before 5 a.m. As he traveled through an underpass, a large chunk of concrete came hurtling through his front windshield. The debris smashed the glass and struck the man in the face, resulting in his death.

Workers' compensation claims denied based on false information

Those who work in factory or industrial settings face many hazards due to the nature of the work and the machinery involved. There have been countless Tennessee employees who have suffered a work-related injury and turned to the workers' compensation program for assistance with medical expenses and help with lost pay. However, an inaccurate diagnosis or false information from a provider can result in qualifying claims being denied.

According to a recent in-depth report, officials with the electric car manufacturer, Tesla -- and its on-site clinic staff -- purportedly have policies in place to reduce reports of injured workers. Unfortunately, the report asserts that these numbers are low due to clinic policies that discount even severe injuries. Several former employees and clinic staff have reported that medical care is often denied or downplayed in order to keep an injury off the official records that are submitted to state and federal agencies.

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